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Mixing Realities

In construction companies there has been an explosion of “R” recently. From the early AR (augmented reality) to VR (virtual reality) to the latest, XR (extended reality). According to computer giant HP, XR—cross reality or extended reality—is a catchall term for several different but related technologies. It rolls together similar acronyms like VR, AR, and MR (mixed reality).

MR has indeed become “a thing,” even in the construction field where technology is often considered a necessity—eventually. How can MR help contractors? Trimble, a staple in the industry, has an answer.

Trimble is offering a mixed-reality solution for construction layout with the introduction of the FieldLink MR app. Built on the Trimble Connect collaboration platform, Trimble FieldLink MR offers a new way to perform construction layout, enabling professionals to quickly navigate to tasks on the jobsite—getting more done in less time. The app runs on the Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2, a hardhat-integrated mixed-reality device. 

With Trimble FieldLink MR, jobsite crews can easily visualize construction data without relying on a handheld controller for step-by-step navigation to locate each point. Visual cues presented through the mixed-reality hardhat lead workers directly to each point for them to physically lay out pertinent information on the site. Attracting and retaining skilled workers remains a key challenge for many contractors, reducing the complexity of layout in the field will be essential to enable less experienced staff to deliver quality work the first time. 

While Trimble’s FieldLink solution enables users to precisely position digital construction information in the physical world, FieldLink MR—an extension of this application—seamlessly integrates cutting edge mixed-reality technology to help construction professionals be more effective on site. This integration offers more efficient and intuitive workflows by making the layout process more natural and contextual. 

Trimble’s layout and mixed-reality solutions are part of the Trimble Connected Construction ecosystem. Contractors from different trades and in all phases of the construction lifecycle can work together to enable more automated layout and fabrication. Field productivity solutions are driven directly by constructible data, reducing the need for data conversions and the potential for error. Using constructible data and real-time collaboration, project stakeholders can work together seamlessly, optimizing the design, build and operate lifecycle.

Trimble FieldLink MR is expected to be available in the first half of 2022 from Trimble and BuildingPoint distribution partners and will be downloadable through the Microsoft Store.

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